Kittitian star Byron Messia sent social media into a frenzy Tuesday with his assertion that his Talibans song is the biggest dancehall hit since 2005.
He made the assertion in his Instagram story, noting “PS: I got a Billboard album by ma self… And biggest song in dancehall since 2005… Big song and bad song different.”
Some Jamaican dancehall fans took issue with the statement, labelling Messia as ‘delusional’ over the claim.
“Dat pass delusion. A mussi duppy a fool him,” one fan wrote on Instagram.
Another fan had a more caustic assessment, saying: "Inflated balloon, it soon popped down like him, because him can't even perform the song, him a run out of breath.”
Meanwhile, dancehall producer Ainsley “Notnice” Morris also weighed in on the social media discussion.
“Taliban a not even dancehall kmt,” the popular producer wrote, seemingly making reference to Messia reportedly once categorising the song as Afrobeat in a media interview.
Talibans entered the Billboard Hot 100 chart at #99 in June, the first time in two years that a dancehall entertainer has scored an entry on the all-genre Hot 100 chart.
According to kworb.net, a website that collects and analyzes music data from around the world, Talibans racked up an impressive 10.5 million streams on Spotify, while a remix of the song, featuring Burna Boy, registered 3.4 million streams.
Prior to Talibans, the last dancehall song to enter the Hot 100 chart was Skillibeng’s Crocodile Teeth remix with Nicki Minaj in May 2021, peaking at #100.
Messia made inroads on several other charts globally such as Billboard's R&B/Hip-Hop Airplay, and the Billboard Rap Airplay. Outside of the United States, Talibans debuted at #74 on the Irish Singles chart, while the remix debuted at #18 on the Nigeria Hot 100 Singles chart.
But here are four songs which may prove Messia wrong in his self-assessment.
1.Omi has racked up over 3 billion streams with Cheerleader, which is regarded as the most streamed Jamaican song of all time. Remixed in 2014 after German producer/DJ Felix Jaehn, the song topped charts in North America, Australia, UK, Mexico and a few European countries.
2.Dancehall artiste Charly Black has amassed over 818 million streams with his gold-certified Gyal You A Party Animal track. Released in 2014, the song went viral as a party hit and sold an impressive 500,000 copies in the United States. The song was produced by Kurt Riley, Demarco and Christopher Birch.
3.Koffee's Toast from her Rapture EP was certified platinum in the United Kingdom early this year in February 2023. Released in 2018, the song has accumulated over 395 million streams.
4.Gyptian scored huge with the racy Hold Yuh in 2010.The official remix for the song featuring rapper Nicki Minaj spent 29 weeks on the Billboard Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs and 15 weeks on the Billboard Hot 100. The single certified platinum in the UK and gold in the US, and was included on Billboard’s 12 Best Dancehall & Reggaeton Choruses of the 21st Century at No. 6. This song has racked up an impressive 293 million streams.
In the meantime, DJ Kurt Riley, who co-produced Charly Black's Gyal Yu a Party Animal, defended Messia.
"We don't need to argue. The artist has his reason and opinion. We have to respect it. We just need to add our opinions without the flavor of disrespect. His song is popular in the Caribbean diaspora, we cannot deny that. But outside of the diaspora, that is another question, is the song being played on 500 mainstream radio stations across the globe? Is his song getting placements? Are other artist outside of dancehall singing his song in their set? Please, I'm not fighting, just sharing my view," Riley wrote.
"There is a huge difference between big song, popular song and hit song," he added.
– Claude Mills